Breaking Down the Misconceptions Surrounding Conveyancing
For nearly 200 years, BLJ has been assisting clients with residential property transactions and has helped thousands of people to move home. Whether it’s your first or fifth time buying a property, the residential conveyancing process can often be stressful and confusing, thanks largely to a great deal of misinformation that can be found online.
It’s our aim to make the whole process as smooth as possible for our clients which is why we’ve spoke to Cíara in the BLJ conveyancing department and asked her to clear up a few of the misconceptions surrounding the conveyancing process.
Misconception one – Dates
A lot of clients begin the conveyancing process with the belief that solicitors can give them a firm finishing date from the start but there’s a lot of factors that are simply out of our hands. A finishing date cannot usually be agreed until around 6-8 weeks after contracts have been drafted and no dates will ever be set in stone until after contracts have been exchanged. Until they are, either party legally has the right to pull out of the sale. Our advice to clients is always to wait until after the contracts have been exchanged before they start booking removals and taking time off work to avoid disappointment and any costly fees.
Misconception two – Valuations
We would strongly advise every client to have an independent homebuyers survey done on their property before committing to purchasing. There’s a false belief that the lender’s survey and valuation will be suitable for flagging up any issues with the property but whilst the lender’s valuation may flag up some issues, it’s quite often the case that the valuer/surveyor may not have actually attended the property before issuing a valuation so it’s important for a full independent survey to be carried out.
It should also be noted that your solicitor is not a trained surveyor, meaning we are limited in what we can advise. If in doubt, get the advice of the relevant professionals so you can ensure your property is a sound investment.
Misconception three – Exchange and completion
Many clients believe that a property is not their responsibility until they pick up the keys, but this is not actually true. Once contracts have been exchanged, the client is legally bound to purchase the property and is responsible for the property itself which means they’ll need to ensure it is adequately insured, etc.
Misconception four – Clients can’t choose their own solicitor
Clients are most often referred to their conveyancing solicitor by their estate agent or mortgage broker who’ll receive a referral fee. Whilst there’s nothing wrong with this, it’s 100% your choice who your conveyancing solicitor will be, which is why we’d always advise you to take a look at who you’ve been referred to and whether they’re going to be the right fit.
If you want someone that you can meet with face to face, then a local solicitor from a high street firm would be most suitable. Some of the bigger ‘volume’ firms that brokers/agents often refer to may be located far away from yourself and so having meetings in person may not be an option, which can often cause delays in getting documents signed and forms returned. It’s also important to be aware that some of these companies might not be actual solicitor firms but licensed conveyancers and often the experience and knowledge of the conveyancers can vary wildly.
Misconception five – getting a conveyancing quote is time-consuming and misleading
Getting a quote from a potential conveyancer shouldn’t involve having to taking time out of your busy day to fill in complicated forms or await call backs which is why at BLJ, we’ve made the process as simple as possible. Conveyancing quotes can be received through our website in under 60 seconds just by answering a few questions and unlike some firms, our pricing is clear and concise and up-to-date meaning you don’t have to worry about any extra hidden fees.
Misconception six – clients have to chase their solicitor for updates
Just like our clients, we hate being kept waiting for important information, which is why as of January 2019, we’ve introduced a new online and app-based tracking system for conveyancing. It allows our clients to see clearly and concisely each stage of a transaction and where they’re up to at any given point. The convenience of the tracking system means our clients no longer need to take time out of their busy schedule to chase for an update, as it’s all available online.
Visit our online conveyancing quote page.